BlackBerry PlayBook OS 2.0 touts improved HTML5 development

Research In Motion (NASDAQ:RIMM) released its BlackBerry PlayBook OS 2.0, which brings a series of WebKit rendering engine enhancements designed to aid HTML5 and BlackBerry WebWorks developers build more stable, high-performance web applications.

BlackBerry PlayBook OS 2.0 highlights include support for WebGL, including 3D context and native binary data, enabling developers to leverage Open GL ES technology and 3D graphics in their application content. Improved HTML5 support brings new form fields (keygen, output, meter) and input types (text, search, tel, url, email, datetime, date, month, week, time, datetime-local, number, range)--in addition, the HTML5 canvas is now hardware-accelerated, touting faster performance and higher frame-per-second (FPS) rendering of 2D graphics content. CSS3 accelerated animations and transforms also are smoother, courtesy of graphics rendering improvements. 

Also new in BlackBerry PlayBook OS 2.0: Web Inspector features like settings menu, network panel, contextual menus and pretty print JavaScript, making it easier for developers to debug and optimize web content. The update additionally includes FileReader API, which is designed to search, retrieve and display files from the BlackBerry Tablet OS shared folder while helping integrate camera pictures, videos, music and documents from the BlackBerry PlayBook tablet into web apps.

BlackBerry PlayBook OS 2.0 brings thousands of new applications available for download via BlackBerry App World, including a range of applications ported from Google's (NASDAQ:GOOG) Android mobile operating system. PlayBook OS 2.0 builds in the BlackBerry Runtime for Android Apps, enabling developers to repackage existing Android apps to run on the tablet as well as upcoming BlackBerry 10-based devices. RIM has awarded free PlayBook tablets to developers who ported their Android apps to the new OS--RIM senior public relations and social media manager Alex Kinsella recently revealed that more than 6,600 new developers have registered with BlackBerry App World since the offer went live, corresponding with more than 1,500 app submissions. 

Looking beyond developer enhancements, BlackBerry PlayBook OS 2.0 introduces new user features including BlackBerry Mobile Fusion, which boasts mobile device management capabilities for tablets and smartphones, as well the updated BlackBerry Bridge app, which provides a Bluetooth connection between the PlayBook and core smartphone apps (including BBM, Email, Contacts, Calendar and Browser) to enable users to view content on the larger tablet display. BlackBerry PlayBook OS 2.0 additionally features social integration with Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.

For more:
- read this Inside BlackBerry Developer's Blog entry
- read this release

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